Mandazi- Swahili Beignets

These sweet tasting ‘beignets’ are a very common Swahili dish flavoured with sweet fennel and cardamom seeds.



10 servings

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tbls instant yeast

2 tbls ghee

1/4 cup sugar

1 pinch salt

1 1/4 cup warm milk

1 tsp sweet fennel seeds

1 tsp cardamom

Powdered sugar



In a mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix well to combine

Add in the ghee and mix until well combined with the flour mixture. Then gradually add in the milk until a soft dough is formed. You may not need to use all the milk so make sure you are adding it gradually.


Once a dough ball is formed, knead until the dough becomes soft and pliable.

In a lightly oiled bowl, add the dough and allow to rise until it doubles in size. Do not let it over-rise!


Punch the dough and form about 8-10 dough balls (this will depend on how big or small you want the mandazi to be)

On a lightly floured surface and using a rolling pin roll out each ball into a circle that is 1/4 inch thickness. Tip: while you are rolling each dough ball, cover the rest so that they don’t dry out.


Using a butter knife, cut the dough into 4 triangles, set aside on a lightly floured surface and cover.


Repeat step 6 and 7 until all the dough is used up. Allow the triangles to rise until they double in size


Over high heat, heat cooking oil in a deep fryer and cook the mandazi triangles. Do not overcrowd the pan. The mandazi will puff up. Cook each side for 1-2 minutes, or until they turn golden brown.  Remove from the fryer and allow to cool on paper towels to drain excess oil. Sprinkle powdered sugar on them.

Serve the Mandazi with a cup of tea or with a beef stew- it is that versatile of a dish!